Has my child got asthma?

19) Eczema and other allergies


If your child has eczema or other conditions such as hayfever or allergic rhinitis which causes them to be hypersensitive, this can increase the likelihood that they will develop asthma.

Eczema, hayfever or allergic rhinitis, and other allergies can help support a diagnosis of asthma. If you notice any symptoms tell your GP or practice nurse.

Eczema is a skin condition which makes the child scratch as it is very itchy, uncomfortable and sometimes painful. When eczema is associated with an allergy it can be called atopic eczema. It can sometimes run in families.

  • In young children, eczema usually appears on the face, chest, back and the outside of the arms and legs.
  • In older children, eczema often appears on the hands, neck, ankles, behind the knees and on the inside of the elbows.

Hay fever is caused by an allergic reaction to grass or tree pollens. It makes the child’s eyes red, watery and itchy. The hay fever season in the UK starts  during the spring. Look out for symptoms from March to October. Symptoms are usually worse first thing in the morning and early evening, particularly on days that have been warm and sunny.

Allergic rhinitis makes the child have a runny nose as if they have a cold when they have been exposed to the substance they are allergic to. Children with perennial allergic rhinitis have symptoms all year round, and it can be easily mistaken for unusually persistent or frequent ‘colds’. Some children can develop sinusitis, where the cavities in the skull near to the cheek bones and eye brows become filled with fluid (they are normally filled with air) This causes pain and discomfort and occasionally infection. Nose bleeds can also be quite common with rhinitis. This is because the lining of the nose is itchy and is often rubbed or scratched.